The Consumer Category
We bring you the chic and unique, the best and most bizarre shopping offers both online and offline. We offer you tips on where to buy, and some of the less mainstream and crazy, individual and offbeat items on the internet. Anything that can be bought and sold can be featured here. And we love showcasing the best and worst art and design.
FEMININE hygiene adverts prior to the late 1960s basically depicted menstruation as a shameful curse, a sickening burden upon womankind. By the time the Baby Boomers started needing these products en masse, a revolution in feminine hygiene was underway. There was still a sense of shame in these adverts, but now it was all about offering new features (i.e. “It’s flushable!). While this may not be the most appealing topic you’ve ever read about, the advertising is still rather interesting and even a little humorous. Take a look at a few examples.
“Gotta Get This Tampon Out Of Sight!” - Pursettes
This tale of woe recounts the abominable shame experienced by a cheerleader when her purse hits the ground spilling out (gasp!) tampons. What should she do? Transferring to another school is such a hassle. Luckily, her friend has Pursettes which keep her shameful secret hidden under wraps. “Just call them the tote tampons.”
“That’s why so many women just like you are switching to it.” - Playtex Self-Adjusting Tampons
I love how this is supposed to be an empowering advertisement, yet it totally undermines itself by its list of stereotypically feminine careers. It’s attempting to illustrate that the Modern Woman has modern needs, and Playtex is just the product to keep up with the changing times. Yet, the various groups of women they list are downright hilarious: “Secretaries, Nurses, Stewardess, The Lady Next Door (WTF?), College Girls, Models, Housewives”. They left out waitresses and strippers.
“Dear Mother Nature: Drop Dead!” - Kotex
The last line reads: “At least you have to worry about your voice changing.” This is a consolation of the sorriest sort. Nearly a lifetime of menstruation versus a month or two of crackly vocal cords…. Hmmmm – which is worse? On a side note: the lens diameter-to-face ratio of those glasses is the largest I have ever seen. Simply breathtaking.
“It stayed in place, even when I was jumping streams.” - Stayfree Maxi Pads
That’s a bold woman – her first day with Stayfree Maxi Pads and she’s sticking her ass directly in his face? Just a thought: maybe he goes up the hill first. The ad ends with “Too bad he forgot to pack the lunch”. Maybe he didn’t forget – he just lost his appetite.
“If you’re old enough to pick your clothes, you’re old enough to pick your sanitary napkin.” - Modess
Advertisers aren’t stupid. They knew the Baby Boomers represented the largest population bubble in the history of the United States. Subsequently, ad agencies were scrambling to produce advertising geared toward this gargantuan money pot. The Modess advert above heavily features the new hippie chic whilst highlighting how grossly antiquated the older generation is. Do you want to buy your sanitary napkins based on the opinion of your crusty archaic mother who seems so hopelessly out of place amongst counter-culture swag? I didn’t think so.
“Whee! They’re Flushable, Too!” - New Freedom Kotex
Yet another advert marketed directly to Boomer youth. Truth be told, there actually was a lot to be excited about. If you’re familiar with the previous generations’ feminine hygiene equipment, you’ll know there was cause for celebration. That stuff was a bulky mess; it had barely improved from the Paleolithic days of using rolled grass and roots. It consisted of various rigging using straps and belts in conjunction with giant swaths of absorbent linens. You can see why a flushable inconspicuous napkin would be a godsend.
“It’s perfect for beginners like us!”Petal Soft Tampax
Petal Soft Tampax
This ad comes from a 1986 issue of 16 Magazine, about a year after Tampax broke the ultimate taboo on American television: It used the word “period”. Specifically the TV ad said, “It will change the way you feel about your period.”
When questioned about their startling expletive, the Tampax ad agency responded beautifully:
It’s a natural evolution. Over the past five years everyone has gotten more straightforward. It just doesn’t make sense any longer to show a woman in a long white dress, drifting through a field of wildflowers, saying something like, ‘It makes me feel fresh.’
THERE’S only a finite number of ways you can arrange a canvas. Naturally, there’s going to be some patterns that emerge, and certain motifs will be copied and repeated to oblivion within the pop art landscape. An artful conception will suddenly be mimicked on comic book covers to movie posters to paperbacks to album covers, and it will continue for decades.
TO London Zoo’s Gorilla Kingdom on May 6, where actors and visitors for the zoo’s silent cinema night have attracted the attention of Kumbuka (pictured above planning another night of debauchery).
ZSL London Zoo’s ‘Silent Cinema’ experience runs for five nights only, kicking off with ‘90s classic Jumanji on Tuesday 6 May and rounding up with childhood-favourite, The Jungle Book, on Saturday 10 May.
Giving a whole new meaning to the term ‘silent picture’, all guests will be wearing headphones to watch the film, making sure the animals still get their beauty sleep.
Mixing the silverbacks with the silver screen, movie-goers will be completely immersed in the sights, sounds and scents of the animal kingdom, exploring one of the Zoo’s incredible exhibits before each screening…
PHILIPPE Petit Is talking to the New York Times about his new book Creativity: The Perfect Crime. It begins: “Make no mistake. I frown upon books about creativity.”Is talking to the New York Times about his new book Creativity: The Perfect Crime. It begins: “Make no mistake. I frown upon books about creativity.”
Most books on creativity are written by an author who references all the great creators of humanity — very often Einstein, the Beatles. They’re not drawing from themselves, and these books are usually in the self-help department. And very often, at the end of a chapter, they have an exercise for you to do. I don’t frown upon them; let’s be frank, I hate them.
On his wire-walking:
…two years ago in Washington Square Park. I put a little rope between two trees, and I improvised. If a leaf fell from a tree, I’d stop juggling and play with the leaf. I went to my prop bag and got a little bandage and stuck the leaf back on the tree. People loved it.
THIS isn’t, perhaps, entirely the wisest public complaint that a restauranteur or hotelier has ever made. The whine is that people are turning up and insisting that they’re very important reviewers on Tripadvisor. Therefore, give me a deal:
Hotels and restaurants are being targeted by ‘blackmailers’ who demand free meals and stays in exchange for not writing bad reviews on TripAdvisor, hospitality chiefs have warned.
The fraudsters are telling staff they will post bad comments on the review site if they don’t get better service, free food or upgrades.
Restaurant, hotel and B&B owners across the UK have reported a huge rise in the number of customers who use TripAdvisor as a threat.
THE beautiful thing about hard liquor advertising is that it is rarely nuanced or boring. It opts for the ham fisted approach, beating consumers over the head with brazen sexual tactics. After all, they’re not selling sofa pillows here, folks. They’re selling booze, and that means things may get interesting…
The “Two Fingers is all it takes” campaign begs the question – all it takes to do what? Considering we’re talking about tequila, I assume it isn’t “improve your golf swing”.
It would have been interesting if the adverts finished their tagline with a bit of truthfulness, such as “Two Fingers is all it takes…. to impair your judgment and make terrible, life-changing mistakes.”
“I never even thought of burning my bra until I discovered Smirnoff.”
I don’t even get this. Is she saying she didn’t believe in Women’s Lib until she starting drinking cheap vodka? I guess I can relate. I didn’t believe in Global Warming until I started huffing gasoline. (That was a joke, for those whose feathers are ruffled.)
Was this advert inspired by the abusive relationship of Ike & Tina? This just makes me uncomfortable. If only this was a Pam Grier film, she’d knock that glass to the floor saying, “You didn’t say ‘please’, bitch!”
They don’t have a sense of humor at airport security like they once did. You do this nowadays and, instead of a laugh, you’ll get tasered and pepper sprayed. If they’re feeling particularly jovial, they may even throw in a thorough cavity search and a trip to exotic Guantanamo for free.
The “sex sells” approach has always been a key marketing strategy for alcohol. A clever tag line is great, but nothing beats a pair of boobs in a booze advert.
Although, sometimes some thinly veiled sexual innuendo does the trick even better…
There’s definitely something phallic going on here. It’s as if Sigmund Freud himself was in charge of the Smirnoff account.
Translated literally: “Your secretary will have sex with you, if you have lots of Cossack Vodka on hand.”
Presenting hard liquor as a gateway to otherwise impossible sexual relations was a common marketing strategy. A perfect example is the following advert featuring a young Ali McGraw.
The text is spectacular:
“Never go to a bachelor’s pad alone… Especially if she has roommates. Bachelor gals get nervous when an available male walks in, empty handed. But come up with a bottle of White Horse and – thank – you’re welcome, Good Guy! It’s the Scotch with the taste even roommates can’t argue about: either they like it or they love it. So you end up with a roomful of purring girls, Good Guys all. Works in a pad. Works in a pub. Because – the Good Guys are always on the White Horse.”
Quite literally, this bottle of Scotch will act as a pheromone, luring hordes of “purring” babes to your bachelor pad so you can have sex with them- all of them.
Lest you imagine the “sex sells booze” approach was strictly a Western thing, this advert clears up any misconception. Asian advertisers were wise to the selling power of a chick in a silver bikini living in an empty gin bottle. You might say Japanese were the greatest experts of them all.
Then again, the Japanese also made insanely stupid ads like this one, completely undermining my previous statement. Of course, when it comes to booze adverts, the Japanese by no means have a monopoly on stupidity….
What the-? This is how I image the Madison Avenue brainstorming session went for this one:
Ad Exec: “Okay, boys. We need to sell some vodka. Let’s hear the ideas.”
Jim:“I think we should go with a smoking hot babe wearing a tiny bikini, holding a bottle of vodka while splayed out on a bearskin rug.”
Fred:”I think we should go with a homely couple inexplicably taping a plastic bag to a stuffed penguin.”
Ad Exec: “Genius, Fred! Genius!”
Jim: (appears hopelessly confused then mumbles incoherently walking away)
Her shirt reads “It’s Real”. I suppose it’s better than “They’re Fake”, but still not the greatest thing to emblazon across a female’s breasts. She already looks a little tipsy, so she probably doesn’t care.
These Boodle ads from 1982 used the “always proper” British Gin as a slang for sex. I wish they had gone a bit further with it. For example, “Is it proper to boodle a complete stranger?” Or even better, “Is it proper to boodle a circus clown while tripping on bath salts?”
“Have you these features? [A] Eyes deep set in soft flesh… characteristic of an appreciative type. [B] Ears lying close to the head… characteristic of a type with good taste.”
I guess we can deduce that those of you with protruding eyes and big ears have terrible taste. You can’t argue with genetics.
IN the 1970s, someone thought it a good idea of build an igloo-shaped hotel 20 miles from the town of Cantwell, Alaska Cantwell.
No-one came to stay. The place had no planning permission. It was used for business, though, as a gift shop and garage.
You can buy it.
TERRIBLE Tattoos presents the Miley Cyrus chicken twerk tongue tat:
EVERYONE outside of the music industry knows that people who illegally download also buy music. For example, Person A buys a lot of vinyl, but also illegally downloads a load of stuff he wouldn’t normally buy, like that song they hear on the radio now and then.
Some people will ravage a torrent and then go buy various albums from it in a try-before-you-buy way. Others will solely nick music, but whaddayagonnado? Those people, years ago, would’ve only ever recorded friends albums onto blank tapes anyway.
A new report goes one further – music and movie pirates behave completely differently. Turns out those who illegally download films are far more likely to pay for legitimate copies as well.
DID you know the chicken on Pizza Express salads and pizzas is halal? You did? The Sun didn’t. But it just found out:
The facts come thicker than the Polish waitress’s Caesar dressing:
- All chicken killed in line with Islamic law
— No mention of it on restaurant’s menus
— Staff will only tell customers if they ask
BEING in the mile high club (for those who don’t know if means you’ve shagged in a plane more than a mile up in the air) isn’t all that much of a distinction these days. Hell, even middle aged hacks have sometimes managed it. But quite how you manage it does offer the possibility of distinction.
Nipping into the loo with a current lover qualifies but it doesn’t quite rise to the glory of actually picking up a stranger on the plane and managing it.
But then there’s the creepy versions of it:
A British woman in her 20s was arrested after losing her temper with cabin crew who caught her locked in an aeroplane toilet with a man she had just met.
The apparently drunk tourist is said to have been handcuffed to a chair by flight attendants – to the horror of her parents, who were travelling with her.
ARTIST Jenni Sparks and Evermade have hand drawn map of London:
This hand drawn map of London meticulously highlights the London boroughs and neighbourhoods complete with the quirky in-the-know hallmarks and landmarks that make the city so unique.
A WHILE back, we brought you a list of action figure disappointments which featured the likes of a Love Boat and Grizzly Adams doll. However, there’s a bunch more that didn’t make the list, but desperately need to be shared. Plus, there are many that don’t necessarily fit into the “disappointment” category, but are nevertheless interesting and/or wildly insane. So, here are 13 additional dolls and figures. Enjoy.
My only complaint about the O.J. Simpson doll is that the gloves that come with it don’t fit. (insert laughter) Bruno Magli shoes and white Ford Bronco sold separately.
GAME of Thrones author George RR Martin has been talking to Rolling Stone:
“Ideas are cheap. I have more ideas now than I could ever write up. To my mind it’s the execution that is all-important. I’m proud of my work, but I don’t know if I’d ever claim it’s enormously original. You look at Shakespeare, who borrowed all of his plots. In A Song of Ice and Fire I take stuff from the Wars of the Roses and other fantasy things, and all these things work around in my head and somehow gel into what I hope is uniquely my own. I don’t know where it comes from, yet it comes — it’s always come.
“If I was a religious guy I’d say it’s a gift from God, but I’m not, so I can’t say that.”
DID you look at the carpet in Stanley Kubrick’s haunting version of The Shining and think ‘Where can you buy that?” Well, now you can. The MONDO 237 Collection features the floor covering from room 237 as a sweater, cardigan, 6′ scarf, ski mask and two different sized floor rugs.
Buy the sweater and get limited edition die-cut room 237 keys.
THIS week in imaginative ways to get a legal buzz, we journey to Alice Springs in Australia’s Northern Territory, where the cool kids are inhaling Rexona deodorants.
Supermarkets in the area have taken to placing Rexona aerosol deodorants behind the cashier’s desk, along with cigarettes and scratch cards. This should ensure that sales of cheap wine and lip balms rocket.
Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
RIP L Feldstein: editor of the once great MAD magazine.
IN 1968, the Funland theme park in Margate, Kent, introduced a new attraction.
Created by Keith Albarn, The Spectrum presented psychedelic rooms, each space presenting intrigued youth with an adventure and a challenge. Rooms features “Ekistikit” – a GRP modular building and furniture system.
This was not infertile ground for sensory experimentation. Margate is a seaside town had a reputation for artistic endeavour:
Pathe News was there to showcase Albarn’s mental adventure:
Albarn did not stop there. As he tells us, he got better. In Girvan, a seaside town in Carrick, South Ayrshire, he created the Fifth Dimension, another psychedelic, fibreglass fun house.
JAMES Lileks has looked beyond the shards of lard and war-effort carrot stuck between our grey teeth to DIY British fashions of the mid 20th Century.
We kick off with…
Lovely bird – drove the lads down at the Enigma labs just mad, except for that chilly Turing fellow – but there doesn’t seem to be enough of her. The more you look at her, the more she looks like a doll that’s been put together from different parts, half of which were attached backwards. But it’s a nice jumper.
When in Brighton, give her a call; tell her Pinky sent you.
ANYONE seeking to send supplies to North Korea, needs to fill in this customs form:
Spotter: Tamerlane’s Thoughts
IN the 1960s, Sainsbury’s began selling own-label groceries. The packaging was marvellous:
Like these cornflakes from 1968.
And these Ritz crackers:
You can find out more in the book Own Label: Sainsbury’s Design Studio, 1962-1977:
In 1962, when Peter Dixon joined the Sainsburys Design Studio, a remarkable revolution in packaging design began. The supermarket was developing its distinctive range of Own Label products, and Dixons designs for the line were revolutionary: simple, stripped down, creative, and completely different from what had gone before. Their striking modernity pushed the boundaries, reflecting a period full of optimism. They also helped to build Sainsburys into a brand giant, the first real Super market of the time. This book examines and celebrates this paradigm shift, which redefined packaging design, and led to the creation of some of the most original packaging ever seen. Produced in collaboration with the Sainsbury family and The Sainsbury Archive, the book reveals an astonishing and exhaustive body of work. A unique insight into what and how we ate, the packaging is presented using both scanned original flat packets and photographic records made at the time by the design team. An essential book for graphic designers and those interested in the culture of consumerism, these designs remain fresh and relevant today. This feast of nostalgia taps into the fond memories of a generation brought up on these beautifully packaged goods.
Lard, ginger beer and wonderful pale ale (ask grandpa), via TrunkRecords:
The Creative Review noted Doxon’s vision:
“If you have a big batch of red labels one side and a big batch of green labels the other, then it’s best to design a white label with stark typography, which would then stand out from the other brands,” says Dixon of his approach to making sure shoppers noticed the own label goods on the shelves of its newly-opened ‘supermarkets’.
Bitter Lemon via LukeHoney: